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Man pulled off of overbooked flight UA3411 (ORD-SDF) 9 Apr 2017 {Settlement reached}

Man pulled off of overbooked flight UA3411 (ORD-SDF) 9 Apr 2017 {Settlement reached}

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Old Apr 13, 18, 1:33 pm   -   Wikipost
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Statement from United Airlines Regarding Resolution with Dr. David Dao - released 27 April 2017
CHICAGO, April 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- We are pleased to report that United and Dr. Dao have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411. We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the center of everything we do.
DOT findings related to the UA3411 9 April 2017 IDB incident 12 May 2017

What facts do we know?
  • UA3411, operated by Republic Airways, ORD-SDF on Sunday, April 9, 2017. UA3411 was the second to last flight to SDF for United. AA3509 and UA4771 were the two remaining departures for the day. Also, AA and DL had connecting options providing for same-day arrival in SDF.
  • After the flight was fully boarded, United determined four seats were needed to accommodate crew to SDF for a flight on Monday.
  • United solicited volunteers for VDB. (BUT stopped at $800 in UA$s, not cash). Chose not to go to the levels such as 1350 that airlines have been known to go even in case of weather impacted disruption)
  • After receiving no volunteers for $800 vouchers, a passenger volunteered for $1,600 and was "laughed at" and refused, United determined four passengers to be removed from the flight.
  • One passenger refused and Chicago Aviation Security Officers were called to forcibly remove the passenger.
  • The passenger hit the armrest in the aisle and received a concussion, a broken nose, a bloodied lip, and the loss of two teeth.
  • After being removed from the plane, the passenger re-boarded saying "I need to go home" repeatedly, before being removed again.
  • United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said the flight was sold out — but not oversold. Instead, United and regional affiliate Republic Airlines – the unit that operated Flight 3411 – decided they had to remove four passengers from the flight to accommodate crewmembers who were needed in Louisville the next day for a “downline connection.”

United Express Flight 3411 Review and Action Report - released 27 April 2017


Internal Communication by Oscar Munoz
Oscar Munoz sent an internal communication to UA employees (sources: View From The Wing, Chicago Tribune):
Dear Team,

Like you, I was upset to see and hear about what happened last night aboard United Express Flight 3411 headed from Chicago to Louisville. While the facts and circumstances are still evolving, especially with respect to why this customer defied Chicago Aviation Security Officers the way he did, to give you a clearer picture of what transpired, I've included below a recap from the preliminary reports filed by our employees.

As you will read, this situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help. Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right.

I do, however, believe there are lessons we can learn from this experience, and we are taking a close look at the circumstances surrounding this incident. Treating our customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are, and we must always remember this no matter how challenging the situation.


Summary of Flight 3411
  • On Sunday, April 9, after United Express Flight 3411 was fully boarded, United's gate agents were approached by crewmembers that were told they needed to board the flight.
  • We sought volunteers and then followed our involuntary denial of boarding process (including offering up to $1,000 in compensation) and when we approached one of these passengers to explain apologetically that he was being denied boarding, he raised his voice and refused to comply with crew member instructions.
  • He was approached a few more times after that in order to gain his compliance to come off the aircraft, and each time he refused and became more and more disruptive and belligerent.
  • Our agents were left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight. He repeatedly declined to leave.
  • Chicago Aviation Security Officers were unable to gain his cooperation and physically removed him from the flight as he continued to resist - running back onto the aircraft in defiance of both our crew and security officials.
Email sent to all employees at 2:08PM on Tuesday, April 11.
Dear Team,

The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.

I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.

It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We’ll communicate the results of our review by April 30th.

I promise you we will do better.


Statement to customers - 27 April 2017
Each flight you take with us represents an important promise we make to you, our customer. It's not simply that we make sure you reach your destination safely and on time, but also that you will be treated with the highest level of service and the deepest sense of dignity and respect.

Earlier this month, we broke that trust when a passenger was forcibly removed from one of our planes. We can never say we are sorry enough for what occurred, but we also know meaningful actions will speak louder than words.

For the past several weeks, we have been urgently working to answer two questions: How did this happen, and how can we do our best to ensure this never happens again?

It happened because our corporate policies were placed ahead of our shared values. Our procedures got in the way of our employees doing what they know is right.

Fixing that problem starts now with changing how we fly, serve and respect our customers. This is a turning point for all of us here at United – and as CEO, it's my responsibility to make sure that we learn from this experience and redouble our efforts to put our customers at the center of everything we do.

That’s why we announced that we will no longer ask law enforcement to remove customers from a flight and customers will not be required to give up their seat once on board – except in matters of safety or security.

We also know that despite our best efforts, when things don’t go the way they should, we need to be there for you to make things right. There are several new ways we’re going to do just that.

We will increase incentives for voluntary rebooking up to $10,000 and will be eliminating the red tape on permanently lost bags with a new "no-questions-asked" $1,500 reimbursement policy. We will also be rolling out a new app for our employees that will enable them to provide on-the-spot goodwill gestures in the form of miles, travel credit and other amenities when your experience with us misses the mark. You can learn more about these commitments and many other changes at hub.united.com.

While these actions are important, I have found myself reflecting more broadly on the role we play and the responsibilities we have to you and the communities we serve.

I believe we must go further in redefining what United's corporate citizenship looks like in our society. If our chief good as a company is only getting you to and from your destination, that would show a lack of moral imagination on our part. You can and ought to expect more from us, and we intend to live up to those higher expectations in the way we embody social responsibility and civic leadership everywhere we operate. I hope you will see that pledge express itself in our actions going forward, of which these initial, though important, changes are merely a first step.

Our goal should be nothing less than to make you truly proud to say, "I fly United."

Ultimately, the measure of our success is your satisfaction and the past several weeks have moved us to go further than ever before in elevating your experience with us. I know our 87,000 employees have taken this message to heart, and they are as energized as ever to fulfill our promise to serve you better with each flight and earn the trust you’ve given us.

We are working harder than ever for the privilege to serve you and I know we will be stronger, better and the customer-focused airline you expect and deserve.

With Great Gratitude,

Oscar Munoz
United Airlines
Poll: Your Opinion of United Airlines Reference Material

UA's Customer Commitment says:
Occasionally we may not be able to provide you with a seat on a specific flight, even if you hold a ticket, have checked in, are present to board on time, and comply with other requirements. This is called an oversale, and occurs when restrictions apply to operating a particular flight safely (such as aircraft weight limits); when we have to substitute a smaller aircraft in place of a larger aircraft that was originally scheduled; or if more customers have checked in and are prepared to board than we have available seats.

If your flight is in an oversale situation, you will not be denied a seat until we first ask for volunteers willing to give up their confirmed seats. If there are not enough volunteers, we will deny boarding to passengers in accordance with our written policy on boarding priority. If you are involuntarily denied boarding and have complied with our check-in and other applicable rules, we will give you a written statement that describes your rights and explains how we determine boarding priority for an oversold flight. You will generally be entitled to compensation and transportation on an alternate flight.

We make complete rules for the payment of compensation, as well as our policy about boarding priorities, available at airports we serve. We will follow these rules to ensure you are treated fairly. Please be aware that you may be denied boarding without compensation if you do not check in on time or do not meet certain other requirements, or if we offer you alternative transportation that is planned to arrive at your destination or first stopover no later than one hour after the planned arrival time of your original flight.
CoC is here: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...-carriage.aspx
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Old Apr 18, 17, 11:00 pm
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Originally Posted by PushingTin View Post
Just saw the guys lawyer talk. This will never see the inside of a courtroom.
Because UA will want it buried, and UA will pay for it big time.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 11:07 pm
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Originally Posted by deskover54 View Post
It's still hard for me to get my arms around it being the fault of the person who called the cops. It's not like she said, "Please go in there and beat him"
She laughed at someone who was willing to volunteer his seat for $1,600. UA clearly does not care about their customers, and as a result of their actions, they are responsible for the local goons beating someone up.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 11:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Fiordland View Post
UA is the organisation that sold the ticket to the passenger. I would think they are responsible for their sub-contractors (regionals and the security service they called and used).
They called the police, and you're not responsible for the actions of the police if you called them (assuming you told them the truth).
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Old Apr 18, 17, 11:30 pm
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
They called the police, and you're not responsible for the actions of the police if you called them (assuming you told them the truth).
Let's say you're a landlord and the tenant is late with the rent. If you call the cops and say "remove this person from my home", and the cops beat him, he can sue you and the cops for damages, but you'll definitely pay.

You don't call the cops when there's a civil matter unless you're willing to accept responsibility that you're just using law enforcement as your own private security force, to beat people into submission.
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Old Apr 18, 17, 11:57 pm
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WSJ is now reporting that Munoz is getting heat from Corporate customers. This is far more significant that the temporary blowback from individual consumers and the bad press. I expect UA will offer some written assurances that rules are going to change so as to prohibit IDB except in the most extreme circumstances where planes are grounded (weather, IT) causing temp. overbooking (or at least under capacity) when flights resume.

Originally Posted by Bear4Asian View Post
This is very depressing to read. If it's true about the entrenched employees in control why would anyone want to lead the company. And how can it ever Change?

The culture at CO was toxic prior to Gordon Bethune. And he single-handedly changed it by empowering employees in much the same way that Herb Kelleher did at WN. (Of course, Herb was there at the beginning so he did not have to turn around the culture.) It can be done, but it takes the right type of CEO.

Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Airline X wants to buy your seat. In doing so you will have to overnight at airport Xray and miss a day of work tomorrow.

I value my time. So I would need compensation for a lost day of work or lost day of leave. I would need reasonable accommodations for the night plus meals since I won't be home, ground transportation, and a flight accommodation for at least the same cabin for the next days flight.

If the airline wants the seat they need to step up and make it right.
Again, the problem is not just monetary but rules that prohibit creative solutions. I find it difficult to believe (absent a blizzard or computer failure) that it was impossible to get someone from Chicago to Louisville before 4pm the next day. Aside from WN there must surely be others with connections, or nonstops. Even CVG is feasible if the airline is willing to pay for a 90 minute taxi. But airlines have handcuffed their employees. Interlining is largely verbotten.

As Slate has noted, for many people even $1500 would not be sufficient compensation to cover loses from a days work or a prepaid vacation. But if the airline could get you there on the first flight out the next morning, that might make the offer more attractive.

Originally Posted by sw3 View Post
Sure, but if there comes to be a law prohibiting deplaning passengers after boarding, if the airline follows the law, in this case they would be barred from even considering asking for volunteers so there would be no VDBs, much less IDBs. They would be legally compelled to go on with the departure, that's the point of the example complementing the original post. Same thing would happen if airlines voluntarily get to put this in the COC overriding other clauses that let them take passengers out, they would be breaching the COC if they did anything about this situation.

Some people are saying that, once boarded, passengers should be totally immune from deboarding either voluntary or involuntary for any reason whatsoever that is not related to safety or security. But it should make no sense to put a blanket and absolute ban on DBs just because passengers are boarded or because whatever. A multitude of unforeseen situations can happen and airlines should be able to decide if a situation merits doing VDBs or IDBs at any point, as long as there are clear guidelines that exemplify the kinds of situations and cause-effect relationships that merit so. Perhaps VDBs after boarding, or before boarding but with seats already assigned, and IDBs not due to overbooking, could be documented to the FAA (protecting passengers' privacy especially in medical situations) and such statistics published.
This is a false paradigm. DOT is not going to pass a rule prohibiting deplaning passengers after boarding. This happens all the time when a plane goes mechanical or the crew times out.

The point is that - absent true security concerns - IDB of an individual passenger is never necessary once he has boarded. If the airline assigns the seat to 2 people, or otherwise needs a seat, then it needs to find a solution. If it can't find one person out of 150+ to volunteer for $$$ then it has 2 choices: raise the compensation or threaten to cancel the flight. I bet not too many flights get cancelled as that would be very costly. Better to pay even 10 grand VDB than to cancel.

Last edited by Boraxo; Apr 19, 17 at 12:06 am
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Old Apr 18, 17, 11:58 pm
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This will get settled with Dr Dao out of court. UA won't want resurrection of the media's constant replaying of the video while the trial is underway.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 12:06 am
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Originally Posted by BF263533 View Post
Are these "authorities" in any way protected by government immunity to tort liability? United may be the deep pocket?

Lawyer Leonard French does a discussion on Qualified Immunity relating to this case here
start at 10:25, the earlier part is merely recounting the story as it was known a week ago, but the Qualified Immunity part is still relevent.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 12:10 am
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Originally Posted by deskover54 View Post
It's still hard for me to get my arms around it being the fault of the person who called the cops. It's not like she said, "Please go in there and beat him"
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
They called the police, and you're not responsible for the actions of the police if you called them (assuming you told them the truth).
That's not the correct legal analysis. The question is whether the harm was foreseeable. IMO a reasonable jury could find that it was. While the police brutality could be argued as a superceding cause, again, I think there's a very good case the harm was reasonably foreseeable as a consequence of UA's actions.

I really meant to stay away from this thread.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 12:15 am
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Originally Posted by PushingTin View Post
Just saw the guys lawyer talk. This will never see the inside of a courtroom.
And in other news, scientists have proved that the moon is not made of cheese and nor does a man live in it.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 2:18 am
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If this LinkedIn article has already been indicated here then I apologize, but I'm still 85 pages behind in this thread. It is written a bit differently than the other articles and a couple of details are off the mark, but it kept me reading until the end. The initial readers comments are interesting, but it quickly degenerates into the usual rubbish.

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Old Apr 19, 17, 2:55 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
The GA is a UA employee. She's the one who called the cops.
Would really like her name to be identified to the general public. The passenger has been literally dragged through this in the media (and some slander)..but the person in question who decided to call the police has remained hidden and unknown.

Anyone know who the individuals at UA who were responsible for this mess?
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Old Apr 19, 17, 3:03 am
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I hope Dr Dao refuses all offers of a settlement with UA just to drag UA through the mud. We will all get the details, including the name of the gate agent, and hopefully the trial will be televised.

Besides just money, how about this as a judgment: an injunction against UA that IDB shall be 12 times the fare paid by the passenger, $5,000 minimum, for the next 12 months or 5 years or whatever. Getting an injunction won't force the other airlines to do that but by competitive pressure, like Delta, they will offer enough VDB to avoid IDB. Also, getting an injunction is much easier than getting the DOT to change the rules or getting Congress to pass a bill.

We also need to see the hired goons deposition and make sure the authorities cut the crap, because we are getting tired of police brutality.
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Old Apr 19, 17, 3:07 am
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Originally Posted by wolf72 View Post
Would really like her name to be identified to the general public. The passenger has been literally dragged through this in the media (and some slander)..but the person in question who decided to call the police has remained hidden and unknown.

Anyone know who the individuals at UA who were responsible for this mess?
would this be the same UA person who falsified the written report, claiming that Dao attempted to strike at the LEO?
There needs to be measures against this kind of behavior
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Old Apr 19, 17, 3:18 am
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Originally Posted by deniah View Post
would this be the same UA person who falsified the written report, claiming that Dao attempted to strike at the LEO?
There needs to be measures against this kind of behavior
Were you present before the filming started and had an unobstructed view? You stated that someone falsified the written report...based on 1st hand knowledge of what happened? If not, you are guilty of what you claim measures need to be taken against. There was a lot going on when the police went to grab him, most of which was obstructed, and it seemed to me that he did not go peacefully. Can you testify that he didn't? Can you testify what happened beyond the filming, twords the front of the aircraft and on the jetbridge I have no evidence to support he did or did not swing at the officer, do you to put in writing that such statement is false and measures need to be taken?
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Old Apr 19, 17, 3:21 am
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Wow someone sure is defensive of UA, like having a negative opinion of UA is not allowed.
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